Jobs in the fast-food industry are often seen as entry level, easy and non-eventful. However, these occupations can be highly demanding and dangerous. In fact, approximately 28,000 teenage fast-food employees go to the emergency room every year for occupational injuries. That number does not even account for injuries that do not result in ER visits or those that older fast-food workers sustain.
With so many serious injuries occurring in the fast-food industry, it is necessary to understand why. Below is an analysis of the core causes of fast-food accidents.
Hot equipment, food and liquids
One common way for fast-food workers to get hurt is by getting burned. In fact, teenagers who work in fast-food establishments are six times more likely to receive burns than teenagers who work in other industries. Hot grills, ovens, deep fryers, boiling oil and piping-hot food can burn employees frequently. Burns are especially likely when employees are rushing during busy hours.
The floors in the kitchen and behind the counter are prone to becoming slippery. Spilled drinks, oil and food are common in fast-food restaurants. These spills sometimes remain for some time because workers are hurrying to fulfill orders. Slipping and falling can cause workers to suffer bruises, sprains, broken bones, head injuries and back injuries.
Fast-food employees often work long, fast-paced and difficult hours. Strenuous tasks such as lifting heavy boxes and cleaning tables can cause a variety of strains and sprains. Even just repetitive motions can result in musculoskeletal complications. Using the cash register, flipping burgers and using a mop can all cause repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
Fast-food workers may experience exposure to shocks or electrocution. This is due to damaged or worn cords, improperly grounded outlets and faulty equipment. Wet surfaces also increase the risk of electrocution.
Anyone who gets hurt while working in a fast-food restaurant should seek compensation.